Previous echocardiography studies in astronauts before and after short duration (4 - 17 days) missions have demonstrated a decrease in resting left ventricular (LV) stroke volume (SV), but maintained ejection fraction (EF) and cardiac output. Similar studies before and after long duration (129 - 144 days) spaceflight have been rare and their overall results equivocal. The purpose of this work was to compare the echocardiographic measurements (M-mode, 2-D and Doppler) from short duration (n = 13) and long duration (n = 4) crewmembers. Compared to short duration astronauts, long duration crewmembers had a significantly greater percent decrease in EF (+6+/-0.02 vs.-10.5+/-0.03, p = 0.005) and percent fractional shortening (+7+/-0.03 vs. -11+/-0.07, p = 0.0 15), and an increase in LV end systolic volume (-12+/-0.06 vs. +39+/-0.24, p = 0.011). These data suggest a reduction in cardiac function that relates to mission duration. As the changes in blood pressure and circulating blood volume (9% - 12%) are reported to be similar after short and long duration flights, the drop in EF after longer spaceflights is likely due to a decrease in cardiac function rather than altered blood volume.